Monthly Archives: January 2016

A Serving of Humble Pie

Every once in a while, I hear or read something that makes me pause and realize I’m not as damned smart as I think I am.

If Wikipedia is correct that that idiomatic phrase comes from the medieval usage of ‘umble pie,’ a dish of offals suitable only for the lower classes, I’m even more deserving of a large serving.

This has to do with my disdainful regard for those who flock to Trump rallies. Instead of taking seriously the reasons for so many feeling that The Donald is ‘one of  us,’ I’ve lumped the whole crowd into a category I can easily dismiss. They are all Duck-Dynasty Bubbas, the unwashed, possum-eatin’, gun-crazies. OK, evidently Senator Cruz is of the same opinion, since he’s been seen, shot-gun raised in a duck blind, dressed in his camo outfit.

I was somewhat jarred out of my liberal dismissal of those idiots when I read this

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2016/01/donald-trump-and-politics-of-resentment.html

It is not that I hadn’t supposed that there is some raging undercurrent to which political demagoguery appeals, rather, in my retired, comfortable, almost-affluence, I’ve failed to see the plight of those so enraged. There are tens of thousands of working-class people in our towns and cities who would be thrilled to have a job that paid a steady income equivalent to my modest pension and Social Security check.

Yes, they wear Mossy Oak vests and caps instead of Dockers and Ralph Lauren, but they are nonetheless worthy of regard and respect. They may shop at Wal*Mart and ALDI but that does not make them some kind of Neanderthal subspecies, not fully homo sapiens. They may simply want their families to enjoy the comforts you and I take for granted.

We may well have come to a tipping point. When the molten cauldron of their resentment and rage erupts into a revolution, we may wish we had not been so dismissive of their culture and their plight.

If ALDI has humble pie in the frozen food section, I’ll get one on my next shopping trip.

 

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PowerBall Hucksterism

@thinkprogress has a posting that describes the swindle of the PowerBall jackpot. By recently raising the size of the field of numbers that must be matched to win, the odds of betting but not winning are now, at least, astronomical, if not almost infinite. Like almost all gambling supported by the State, this is one of the most regressive of all taxes because those who can least afford it are the ones who waste their money on it. It is, of course, economic insecurity that motivates the lemming-like plunge into the lines of hopeful purchasers.

It seems at least the season, if not the era, for insecurities and anxieties as prime motivation for masses of respondents. How else could Donald Trump be so far ahead of his Party’s fellow-hucksters? The chances of their obtaining the pay-offs he proclaims are nearly as remote as their winning their PowerBall purchases. That is not to say that he cannot be his Party’s nominee. One has only to remember the post-Weimar demagog who exploited the anger and angst of Germans with the promise of a reign of a thousand years of prosperity.

“There’s a sucker born every minute.” That phrase has been attributed to P.T. Barnum, but I doubt he’d so disparage his own customers. Even Mark Twain has been credited as its author. Wikipedia attributes it to a David Hannum against Barnum. The truth of the phrase remains whoever first said it. We will witness its truth as political rallies proliferate in the months ahead and even sooner when the PowerBall lines form again.

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An Extra Day!

The Amaryllis, given us by a friend a couple of weeks ago at Christmas, has one stalk in full bloom and the second about to trumpet its ‘life springs from a dull brown clump’ message to anyone who’ll pay attention. With my life expectancy somewhere around 82, I have about seven years left. That means I have two more extra days in my life. The first of those is the fifth Monday of next month. That’s something to give me pause, five days in any February. But we are taking off into a leap year, so we get an extra day this year, next month. I’ll have another one in 2020 and that’ll probably be the last.

Let’s not get morbid though, dwelling on having but two extra days left. It is much more engaging to think about how exciting it is to have an extra day so soon as next month. Just think, no appointments that fall on a regular monthly basis. In fact, nothing on the calendar except for the handful of pills to be taken qd; that’s an abbreviation my retired RN wife uses to mean ‘every day.’

Since I’ve already spent 18 of my life’s extra days oblivious to their gratuity and opportunity, maybe I should think a bit, maybe plan how I shall spend Monday, February 29, 2016. I don’t know how many of these freebies you have left, but you might as well come along and join me in thinking about how we’ll use the day. OK, so it isn’t exactly a freebie since the world does go on as though that Monday does not differ from the previous. It is not our fault though that the world of commerce and government has not planned meaningfully for an occurrence that has been a regular feature of our days since the Julian calendar was abandoned in 1582.

If you, as one of my readers, are living in Paris, we hardly need to chat about where you’ll go or what you’ll do with this day on which you’ve nothing scheduled. You’ve got so many things to do. It’ll take most of your day being tousled by camera-toting tourists who are also trying to see that small-framed marvel known as ‘Mona Lisa.’

Probably, my planning should not aim at so lofty an activity. My aforementioned wife isn’t looking over my shoulder as I write this, but she need not for me to know that she would prefer that I simply hack my way into the study to order the debris-strewn field that until recently served as my computer desk. This laptop has served very well to prompt my avoidance of that project.

I know! Neither of us have indulged in our hobby and favorite activity for some time. She’d enjoy it if we could add a species to our Life List. We can take our binoculars, spotter scope and lunch and drive to Ohio’s Lake Erie shore. To paraphrase Thoreau, everyone believes in something, I believe I’ll go birding.

Loggerhead Shrike

check out our friend Cindy’s beautiful photography

https://cindymcintyre.wordpress.com

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Out of Hibernation

Here in the bright light of a new year, it is bit difficult to see very far ahead. It is not that I’m snow-blinded as we’ve had none of the white stuff here in central Ohio so far this winter, but I’m not sure I can see well enough to know just why I haven’t written for so long or what I hope to do with this blog now that I’m awake again.

The platform of readers who have dropped by here at Sanchismos isn’t a large list but I do appreciate having you stop in on occasion. I’d like to reach more readers but I really haven’t a clue to that strategy. That’s one of the reasons, I’ve enrolled in the Blogging101 course here at WordPress. Another reason is that I apparently need some motivation to continue tagging along, jousting at windmills here.

There hasn’t been any consistent theme to what I’ve written here. I just muse and rant, mostly about pet peeves of mine, political and ‘religious.’ Maybe that is something that needs a new focus; perhaps a theme would be a good idea. But then again, I’d hate to be confined if I’d think outside the container I’ve constructed. What do you think?

 

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